A 1899 Wolseley, entered by the British Motor Museum, crosses the finishing line, during the 2018 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

- Image ID: T93XCE
John Gaffen / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: T93XCE
Ferguson's business began in 1887 named Wolseley and making sheep shearing machinery. Herbert Austin, who had worked on Wolseley's shearing machinery development in Melbourne Australia from 1887, when he was aged just 20, was appointed its manager and received a share of its equity. Seeking other suitable products Austin designed his first car in 1896 and for the next four years continued to develop and improve his designs. Though the board did allow Austin to purchase some machinery to build cars they decided around 1900, it was unlikely to be a profitable industry. In 1901, Wolseley's embryo car business was acquired by Vickers, Sons and Maxim. The postwar rise of synthetic textiles sharply reduced the demand for wool and the necessary machinery and in 1960 Wolseley diversified activities by buying Nu-Way Heating Limited. Nu-Way took Wolseley into the heating and building supplies business. In 1965 Wolseley purchased Granville Controls and Yorkshire Heating Supplies. Wolseley Motors Limited was a British motor vehicle manufacturer founded in early 1901 by the Vickers armaments combine in conjunction with Herbert Austin. It initially made a full range topped by large luxury cars and dominated the market in the Edwardian era. The Vickers brothers died[note 1] and without their guidance Wolseley expanded rapidly after the war, manufacturing 12,000 cars in 1921, and remained the biggest motor manufacturer in Britain.
Location: Madeira Drive, Brighton, Sussex